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Crowns are also often used as symbols of religious status or veneration, by divinities (or their representation such as a statue) or by their representatives, e.g. the Black Crown of the Karmapa Lama, sometimes used a model for wider use by devotees.
Sometimes, the crown commonly depicted and used in heraldry differs significantly from any specific physical crown that may be used by a monarchy.
If the bearer of a coat of arms has the title of baron or higher (or hereditary knight in some countries), he or she may display a coronet of rank above the shield, usually below the helm in British heraldry, and often above the crest (if any) in Continental heraldry.
In this case, the appearance of the crown or coronet follows a strict set of rules. A royal coat of arms may display a royal crown, such as that of Norway. A princely coat of arms may display a princely crown, and so on.
A mural crown is commonly displayed on coats of arms of towns and some republics. Other republics may use a so-called people's crown or omit the use of a crown altogether. The heraldic forms of crowns are often inspired by the physical appearance of the respective country's actual royal or princely crowns.
Ships and other units of some navies have a naval crown, composed of the sails and sterns of ships, above the shield of their coats of arms. Squadrons of some air forces have an astral crown, composed of wings and stars. There is also the Eastern crown, made up of spikes, and when each spike is topped with a star, it becomes a celestial crown.
Whereas most county councils in England use mural crowns, there is a special type of crown that was used by Scottish county councils. It was composed of spikes, was normally shown vert (green) and had golden wheat sheaves between the spikes. Today, most of the Scottish unitary authorities still use this "wheat sheaf crown", but it is now the usual gold.
A depiction of a naval crown
A depiction of an astral crown
A depiction of a mural crown
A depiction of a celestial crown
A depiction of an eastern crown
A depiction of a camp crown
In the British peerage, the design of a coronet shows the rank of its owner, as in German, French and various other heraldic traditions. The coronet of a duke has eight strawberry leaves, that of a marquess has four strawberry leaves and four silver balls (known as "pearls", but not actually pearls), that of an earl has eight strawberry leaves and eight "pearls" raised on stalks, that of a viscount has sixteen "pearls", and that of a peerage baron or (in Scotland) lord of parliament has six "pearls". Between the 1930s and 2004, feudal barons in the baronage of Scotland were granted a chapeau or cap of maintenance as a rank insignia. This is placed between the shield and helmet in the same manner as a peer's coronet. Since a person entitled to heraldic headgear customarily displays it above the shield and below the helm and crest, this can provide a useful clue as to the owner of a given coat of arms.
Members of the British royal family have coronets on their coats of arms, and they may wear physical versions at coronations. They are according to regulations made by King Charles II in 1661, shortly after his return from exile in France (getting a taste for its lavish court style; Louis XIV started monumental work at Versailles that year) and Restoration, and they vary depending upon the holder's relationship to the monarch. Occasionally, additional royal warrants vary the designs for individuals.
In Canadian heraldry, special coronets are used to designate descent from United Empire Loyalists. A military coronet signifies ancestors who served in Loyalist regiments during the American Revolution, while a civil coronet is used by all others. The loyalist coronets are used only in heraldry, never worn.
Monarch St Edward's Crown
Monarch Crown of Scotland
Monarch Imperial/Tudor Crown
Monarch Imperial Crown of India
Grandchild of a Sovereign[a]
King of Arms (College of Arms)
Precisely because there are many traditions and more variation within some of these, there are a plethora of continental coronet types. Indeed, there are also some coronets for positions that do not exist, or do not entitle use of a coronet, in the Commonwealth tradition.
Such a case in French heraldry of the Ancien Régime, where coronets of rank did not come into use before the 16th century, is the vidame, whose coronet (illustrated) is a metal circle mounted with three visible crosses. (No physical headgear of this type is known.)
Helmets are often substitutes for coronets, and some coronets are worn only on a helmet.
|King (after the 1500s)||Heir to the throne (Dauphin)||Children of the sovereign
(fils de France )
|Prince of the Blood|
|Duke and Peer of France||Duke||Marquis and Peer of France||Marquis|
|Count and Peer of France||Count||Count (older)||Viscount|
|Vidame||Baron||Knight's crown||Knight's tortillon|
|Georgian Royal Crown, also known as the "Iberian Crown"|
|Older Imperial Crown||Newer Imperial Crown||Oldest Crown of the King of the Romans||Older Crown of the King of the Romans|
|Newer Crown of the King of the Romans||Crown of the King of Bohemia||Archducal hat||Oldest Electoral hat|
|Older Electoral hat||New Electoral hat & new Ducal hat||Ducal hat of Styria||Ducal crown|
|Princely hat||Princely crown||Crown of a Landgrave||Crown of an heir to a duchy|
|Older crown of a Count||Newer crown of a Count||Older crown of a Baron/Freiherr||Newer crown of a Baron/Freiherr|
|Older Crown of Nobility||Newer Crown of Nobility|
|Crown of the Emperor of Austria||Crown of the King of Bohemia||Archducal hat||Archducal crown|
|Ducal hat of Styria||Ducal hat||Ducal crown||Princely hat|
|Princely crown||Crown of a Count||Crown of a Baron/Freiherr||Crown of Nobility|
|Crown of the German Emperor||Crown of the German Empress||Crown of the German Crown Prince|
|Crown of the King of Prussia||Crown of the King of Bavaria||Crown of the King of Württemberg|
|King (crown of Savoy)||Heir to the throne (Prince of Piedmont)||Royal prince[c]||Prince of the blood|
|Crown of San Marino||Crown of Napoleonic Italy||Iron Crown of Lombardy|
|Papal Tiara||Doge of Venice||Doge of Genoa|
|Holy Roman Emperor|
(Members of the Royal House,
children of the Monarch)
(Members of the Royal House,
grandchildren of the Monarch)
(nobility, for titles granted after 1815)
|Viscount||Baron|| Hereditary Knight
The older crowns are often still seen in the heraldry of older families.
|King||Prince of the Royal house|| Prince
(nobility, for titles granted after 1815)
| Prince |
(nobility, for titles granted during the Ancien Régime)
|Count (oldest)||Viscount||Baron||Baron (older)|
| Hereditary Knight|
Kingdom of Portugal (until 1910)
|King||Heir to the throne (Prince Royal)||Prince of Beira||Infante||Duke|
|Marquess||Count||Viscount||Baron||Knight / Fidalgo|
Empire of Brazil
|King (The Steel Crown of Romania)|
|Emperor||Crown of the Grand Duchy of Finland||Monomakh's Cap||Prince|
|Count||Baron||Baron (alternative style)||Crown of Nobility|
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During the Swedish reign, Swedish coronets were used. Crowns were used in the coats of arms of the historical provinces of Finland. For Finland Proper, Satakunta, Tavastia and Karelia, it was a ducal coronet, for others, a comital coronet. In 1917 with independence, the coat of arms of Finland was introduced with a Grand Ducal coronet, but it was soon removed, in 1920. Today, some cities use coronets, e.g. Pori has a mural crown and Vaasa a Crown of Nobility.
Heraldic crown of the King
Physical crown of the King
Physical crown of the Queen
|Crown Prince||Prince or Princess||Duke||Marquess|
|Count||Baron||Crown of Nobility|
|King (National arms design)||King (Monarch's arms design)||King (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia)||Heir to the throne (Prince of Asturias)|
|Heir to the throne (Prince of Girona) (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia)||Infante||Infante (Aragon, Catalonia, Balearics, Valencia)||Grandee of Spain|
|Baron||Señor/Don (Lord)||Hidalgo (Nobleman)||Knight's burelete|
|'Raven Crown' of the Kingdom of Bhutan|
|Crown of the Kingdom of Cambodia|
|Great Crown of Victory of the Kings of Siam and Thailand|
|Phra Kiao (princely coronet, also the emblem of King Chulalongkorn)|
|Imperial Crown of Ethiopia||Royal Crown of Tahiti||Royal Crown of Hawaii||Royal Crown of Hawaii|
|American Coronet||Crown of the Shah of Persia||Crown of the Shah of Iran|| |
Twig crown of the
Republic of the Congo
Eastern Catholic prelate, combining elements of both Eastern and Western ecclesiastical heraldry
Apostolic protonotary (Monsignor)
Honorary Prelate (Monsignor)
Chaplain of His Holiness (Monsignor)
Additionally, many animal charges (frequently lions and eagles) and sometimes human heads also appear crowned. Animal charges gorged (collared) of an open coronet also occur, though far less frequently.
A crowned lion head in the arms of Kreis Biedenkopf, a county in Hesse, Germany (1832-1974)
Both lions and eagles crowned appear in the coat of arms of the Czech Republic.
Badge of the Unicorn Pursuivant, a unicorn gorged of a coronet